Comparative study of annealing and gold dopant effect on DC sputtered vanadium oxide films for bolometer applications
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Vanadium oxide (VOx) thin film has been widely used for IR detectors and it is one of the promising materials for THz detectors due to its high temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) values. VOx films with proper TCR values have also high resistance and it restricts bolometer performance especially for uncooled bolometers. To overcome this problem, deposition at elevated temperatures or annealing approach has been accepted and used but gold co-deposition approach has been proposed recently. In this study, vanadium oxide films were fabricated on high resistivity silicon substrates by reactive direct current magnetron sputtering in different O2/Ar atmosphere at room temperature. We investigated influence of oxygen partial pressure during deposition process and fabricated VOx thin films with sufficient TCR values for bolometer applications. In order to decrease resistivity of the deposited films, post annealing and gold doping approaches were performed separately. Effect of both post annealing process and gold doping process on structural and electrical properties of VOx thin films deposited at room temperature were investigated and detailed comparison between these methods were presented. We obtained the best possible approach to obtain optimum conditions for the highly reproducible VOx thin films which have the best resistivity and suitable TCR value for bolometer applications.